Starry and Aurora Public Schools Erase the Homework Gap
May 28th, 2021
We know affordability is a top barrier when it comes to getting broadband access in the home. The lack of affordable broadband options for families has only widened the “homework gap” since students cannot successfully complete schoolwork at home.
As virtual learning becomes more commonplace since the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew we had to do something to help get students online.
We announced this week a partnership with Aurora Public Schools (APS) to make available our ultra-low-cost broadband access program, Starry Connect, to un- and under-connected APS families living in the Delmar Parkway community in Aurora, Colorado. This marks the first time we are making Connect available to families living outside of public and affordable housing communities.
“Our most vulnerable families are often the same families who fall into the digital gap. They don’t have broadband connectivity at home because it’s unaffordable,” said Chet Kanojia, co-Founder and CEO of Starry. “At Starry, our values are centered on developing technology to deliver high-quality, affordable broadband access to every community we serve. If we’re serious about creating digital equity, then we can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. That’s why we’re proud to partner with Aurora Public Schools on developing this creative solution to get our ultra-low-cost broadband access program to the families who need it most.”
The Connect program has traditionally partnered with public and affordable housing owners to provide blanket eligibility across apartment communities for access to this ultra-low-cost broadband service plan, without requiring credit checks or other eligibility criteria of residents. The APS partnership will operate similarly, with APS verifying the eligibility of households, therefore relieving any additional paperwork burden from participating families.
APS families who qualify for free or reduced school lunch and live in residential buildings with Starry internet service can sign up for 30 Mbps symmetrical service with no data caps, no long-term contracts, no extra fees and all equipment, installation and customer care included for $15 per month. We have also committed to providing five months of free Connect service upon sign-up for these APS families.
“We want to ensure that all APS students and families are able to find a permanent solution for reliable and affordable internet service,” said Jeff Konishi, APS Chief Technology Officer. “Partnering with Starry will allow more of our families in the APS ACTION Zone, which is a network of five schools in northwest Aurora, to have low-cost internet access. It’s a simple solution that also provides the speed students need to stay connected.”
For the full details on this first-of-its-kind partnership, read the press release.